Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Home Forums Ireland DDDA / Docklands Miscellany Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

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Filling the Urban Void,
Exhibition Opening,
Ballymun Civic Centre,
April ’08.
John McLoughlin, Chief Architect DDDA speaks.
I put it together in minutes type of format, because the recording wasn’t the best.

Brian O’ Hanlon

DDDA, a facilitator role rather than a design role. Old customs house authority, concerned a lot with cars and traffic management. In 1997, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority was formed. It’s remit was widened to social regeneration. The area has been widely developed with mixed use development. DDDA involvement in property, physical development of the city, building of infrastructure. Financial services centre, a catalyst for economic expansion in the past 15 years.

Working with the community. Rising tide of what goes on, integrate them into it. The urban void is not just spatial, it is also social. Projects for the community – social work. The way the space is layered, the social stratification. Throughout Docklands history, people who worked in these areas, also lived in the area. Docklands is a place which has been severed away from the rest of the city largely by infrastructure. The loop line, creates bridges, that are visually obstructive.

Water and spaces around the water. The reason for the city of Dublin is the river. Junction of not just the Liffey, but also the Dodder and the man made amenities of Poolbeg, Royal and Grand Canal. Canal docks were really extensions of the edge surface of the river. Railways of 1840s and 1850s made canals redundant. A lot of Docklands is built land. Dublin port deepened, and extended into the bay. Army surplus oil tanker, led to containerisation, Sealand company and ultimately to globalisation of trade. At the end of its previous life, large parcels of land were left, with industrial uses associated with them. Gasometer, the production of town gas. Light the streets of Dublin. Notice the the size of sites that developers acquire. Large chunks of land, which lend themselves to perimeter block development.

Looking at it in terms of the scale of the city – bridges. 12 bridges from Heuston Station to O’Connell St. From the customs house down, there aren’t very many bridges. If you were to implement a similar frequency of bridges, it would look something like this. (shows slide)

Public buildings in the docklands. Abbey Theatre, Georges Dock, National Conference Centre, Grand Canal Theatre, Point Theatre. Before 1978, the river was navigable as far as the Customs House, when the Matt Talbot bridge was completed. Customs house itself is severed by loop line and Matt Talbot bridge in 1978. Effectively putting it on a giant traffic island. DDDA engaging with traffic management at DCC. Loading/unloading of goods at customs house continued up until 1950s. At which time a granite wall was erected. (Which is now black) It contrasts badly in the view from across the river, with white limestone of customs house. The Customs house lost much of its floating quality of the original Gandon scheme. Board walks and campshires – connecting Customs house back to the river.

Dublin inner city is very hard. An idea of trees and gardens is missing from this part of the city. The campshires landscape is quite severe. Slide of quayside in Paris. Dutch landscape and master planning practice working with DDDA. Person able to walk all along the Royal canal from Roscommon. Docklands portion is the only bit one cannot walk. 2 no. new footbridges to tie across the river. Striking a balance with use of the river for navigational purposes. Lighting of space – tie it together and make it more attractive. Issue of safety. West 8 scheme, a cluster of office buildings. Canal to surround the project – introducing water into the depth of the North Lotts area. To create a different identity. Re-introduce a relationship back to the water.

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